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1912 Alston Ave. – Yard of the Month (August 2016)

Fairmount Yard of the Month for August is 1912 Alston, an aptly water-wise landscape with many Southwest native plants. Phil Bordeleau purchased the yellow, two-story home with white trim for the second time in June 2010. He first owned 1912 Alston briefly in 1992, it being one of seven houses he has restored in Fairmount. The four-square Craftsman bungalow was previously owned by the Acuña family through much of the twentieth century, and by eight other owners, most for periods of approximately two years since 1992.

1912 Alston Ave.

1912 Alston Ave.

A year ago Phil decided to redo his yard with drought-tolerant plantings. The prior landscaping was a traditional lawn with flower beds hugging the porch. Phil had three inches of his front yard removed and replaced with loam, then began the process of filling in drought-tolerant plants and red cedar mulch.

The southeast corner of the front yard is anchored with Ruella, blooming purple in 100+ degree heat. The center of the front yard is graced with indigo spires and Mexican Sage, both divisions from the plants grown against the front porch. Surrounding the sage in ever-shorter circles are Mexican feather grass, creeping thyme, Blackfoot daisy (melampodium leucanthum), yarrow (achillea millefolium), and dianthus, often called “pinks,” even if the bloom is not pink, because the petals have a frilled margin that appears as if cut by pinking shears. Adding further color are several simple and lovely flowers including, gaillardia (or blanket flower), with orange and red blooms, cone flower (Echinacea) and scabiosa (pincushion flower). The corner of the front bed holds a substantial hibiscus and the side of the house next to the driveway holds red and China green roses. As the plants grow to their full size, Phil may add garden paths to allow a closer enjoyment of their seasonal offerings.

In addition to his talents as a gardener, Phil is a master woodworker. He has not only restored and completed all the woodwork in his house, he has also built all the furniture, with the exception of the grand piano. The rockers and table on the front porch number among his creations.

Our thanks, and a gift certificate to C C’s Touch of Nature, go to Phil Bordeleau.

The Fairmount YOTM committee is Susan Harper and Bonnie Blackwell.